My favourite posts and videos from 2014


It's safe to say that this year has been filled with ups and downs, especially for this blog. There were times when I blogged every day but then I lost the motivation somewhere along the way when life took over. Well I am happy to say that I am back and I thought what better way to end this year than to share with you my favourite posts and videos from last year!

In June, I shared my Favourite Summer Lipsticks, finally starting to wear colour!

Also in June I met the one and only Caroline Hirons- my favourite bit about this post is probably my overly excited facebook post on Emma's wall.

I was on fire in June because I also posted the video I am most proud of so far, my Boots Collection

In July, I went to Disneyland and made this magical little vlog/video about it!

In August, I shared my Gap Year Experience with you, in collaboration with Jordan.


What was your favourite post on Living Life in Docs this year?
 

Tips for achieving your New Year's resolutions



It's that time of the year again when everyone comes up with big plans for the new year, which they end up forgetting about after a few weeks. So how can you make sure you will actually stick to your resolutions this time? Here's a few tips.

1. Pick realistic resolutions
"Go to the gym six days a week" is not a realistic resolution. Make sure that your resolutions fit in with your current lifestyle so they're actually achievable. Be realistic about what you actually can achieve, and even if that means it's a smaller goal, it's still better than realising you can't achieve your big goal and not trying after two weeks. Going to the gym once a week for the entire year is definitely better than going to the gym six times a week for two weeks and then giving up.

2. Set clear goals
Make sure that your resolutions are specific and not just things like "be healthy". Something like "don't eat McDonalds" or "drink 2 litres of water" a day are much more achieveable because they're specific so you can't get sidetracked and forget about them as easily.

3. Map out short term goals
My main resolution this year is to get organised and tidy, which is quite a big goal, but I've broken it down and written down exactly how I want to achieve it. So for example I have smaller goals like 'write everything down', 'make daily to do lists' and 'tidy before you go to bed', which make the big goal that much more achieveable.

4. Start as you mean to go on
If your goal is to work out more, work out on New Year's Day. If you don't start working towards your goal immediately you're likely to get sidetracked and bored. With my goal of being organised I actually started before New Year's Eve by getting new notebooks and cleaning my room so I have a fresh start and I can maintain rather than start from scratch.

I hope these tips were useful for you, make sure you check back tomorrow for my New Year's resolutions (including detailed plans of how to achieve them of course)!

My Christmas Day Outfit

In Germany we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day isn't particularly special, but this year we went to visit my grandma on the 25th so I wanted to dress up a little while still being comfortable, especially after eating loads the night before. I decided to go for a simple black skater dress from New Look and wore it with an oversized brown cardigan for comfort and warmth. I threw on some simple, low black heels (I'm starting to love wearing heels!) and some nice jewellery, which I think is what made the outfit more dressed up. My earrings were a Christmas present and I don't know where they're from but my pearl necklace is by Frieden. I got the necklace for my graduation and it's one of my favourite pieces that I always wear on special occasions because it's so simple and classic yet absolutely beautiful. Oh and if you're wondering who my adorable little sidekick is, that's my sister's teddy bear Carl, he wanted to be involved!





My 2014 Resolutions- How Did I Do?

So today I went back to my first post of 2014 to read my New Years Resolutions and see how I did. In summary: not too well.

1. Be healthier
I think I sort of semi reached this goal. I have times when I'm really healthy and then I have weeks when I just cannot be bothered and have pasta most of the time. I did do a lot more exercise though and pretty much maintained my weight throughout the year, which is quite an achievement for me as I tend to have massive weight fluctuations. I can also safely say that I have gained a lot of muscle *longingly looks at that jacket that no longer accommodates for my large biceps*

2. Be positive
Yeah I definitely failed massively here. 2014 has been a terrible year for me relationship wise so that definitely contributed to me not feeling particularly positive, especially over the last couple of weeks. However I have now (sort of) come to term with all of it so let's try this again in 2015, shall we?

3. Take more risks
Now this is something I definitely managed! This goal was mainly pole related and I can proudly announce that I let go all the time now and I haven't died yet! Although I did fall on my head one, but details... I've also started taking more risks in my life in general, like deciding to apply for an MBA in Canada!

4. Be organised
This is most certainly my biggest fail. I don't know what it is but I just cannot get organised. I think my brain is just hardwired to be messy and no matter what I try everything gets out of control within days. I absolutely hate this, it's not like I do it on purpose and the mess doesn't bother me, so I've decided to try and go in baby steps and continue to pursue this goal in 2015. One thing I have definitely managed is to stop holding on to everything and just throw away things I don't need, so that's definitely a good start!

5. Spend less money on things I don't need
I'm quite happy with the results of this. Yes I still spend a lot of money but a lot less of it is on makeup and clothes that I'll use once and I spend more on useful homeware, meals out with friends, holidays, concerts, and other things that make me happier. So now the goal for 2015 is to save more money!

How did you do with your New Year's resolutions?

 

Merry Christmas!


I can't believe it's already Christmas, this year has flown by! I know it's been very quiet on the blog front for me, I'll save you the long list of excuses but let's just say that I haven't quite been feeling myself lately. However starting in 2015 I want to be more active with my blog again because it is something I really enjoy, I just kind of lost the motivation to do it because to be honest I just felt like no one really cared what I wrote about on here. So if you stuck around and are still with me then thank you, and you will be hearing a lot more from me in the future!

For now, have a lovely Christmas and enjoy the time with your family or friends or whoever you're celebrating with! And if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a lovely Wednesday.

Love,

Allie

Don't call me beautiful?

I've always been hesitant to call myself a feminist- I believe we should all have equal opportunities but I don't like the extreme views that are associated with the term feminist. Lately I've been reading a lot of articles my feminist acquaintances have posted on facebook and I've been getting more and more annoyed with the message they're promoting. Tonight I read this article entitled 'Don't call me beautiful' and it put me over the edge and I feel like I need to talk about this.
A lot of the time, guys tell me I'm 'hot'. As soon as a guy calls me hot I automatically assume that he has no intention of getting to know me as a person and he's just interested in my looks. But I distinctly remember the first time a guy I liked called me beautiful and it made me so happy and filled me with so much confidence because I don't think the term beautiful just refers to looks. Being called beautiful is something very rare for me and I enjoy it because it makes me happy every single time. It doesn't make me feel like I'm being judged only by my looks and I would much rather have someone tell me that I looked beautiful than that I looked 'vivacious tonight' or I was 'full of energy'.
Another article I read was saying how you shouldn't compliment a girl on losing weight because it promotes an unhealthy body image. I'm sorry but that's bullshit (pardon my french). We seem to have developed this new form of sizeism where being overweight is a good thing and you shouldn't change it. I'm not saying that people who are overweight aren't beautiful and I know it's hard to lose weight (believe me, I've been there), but we should promote a health, and being obese is not healthy. If you're above 'normal weight' but you eat healthily and exercise and you are just built that way then that's totally fine, but so many people use being 'curvy' as an excuse. We should promote a healthy body image, we shouldn't shame people for being naturally skinny or naturally big, but we also shouldn't pretend that obesity is something to be proud of. I personally am very flattered when someone points out that I have lost weight and I would certainly not like people to tell me 'you just seem so YOU tonight' instead, like the article I read suggested.
Anyway, I sort of strayed away from my point and went off on a tangent there... What I want to say is that being called beautiful isn't a bad thing. If you're a guy, don't stop calling women beautiful because you think they will be offended by it. Being called beautiful doesn't mean you're being objectified, it's just a nice compliment and I think we seriously need to stop overanalysing these things and just let it be. Talk about more pressing issues like the pay gap between men and women and leave chivalry alone.
Rant over.

#THELAUGHINGPROJECT- Spreading Laughter and Happiness with Hello Miss Jordan



Recently, I haven't been posting as much as I would like on my blog, mainly because I've been going through a bit of a rough time and I just haven't had the motivation to do anything. So when Jordan told me about her idea to start a campaign to promote laughter and happiness, I immediately got excited because I think sometimes we lose sight of the little things that make us laugh and this is a great way to remind ourselves. You can read Jordan's original post here, but the general idea is to post a picture of yourself laughing, tell the story of the funniest thing that ever made you laugh and talk about something that you've done to spread laughter or happiness recently. 
I was thinking of the funniest moments that have made me laugh but I couldn't narrow it down because I just have hilarious friends and I laugh a lot, so I just found some pictures of me laughing and I'm going to tell you the story of why I was happy in those moments.


This picture is a screenshot from a training session with my friend Emily. We were trying out some doubles moves on the pole and absolutely nothing was working but we were having such a fun time and just laughing about it all! Emily is one of the most positive people I know and I'm so happy to have her in my life. She's also incredible at pole and a fantastic doubles partner and she literally supports me and catches me when I fall!


This picture was taken in Disneyland, on what was probably one of the happiest days of my life. I think that as I'm getting older I appreciate Disney more and more and spending an entire day in Disneyland with my friends was so much fun, we laughed a lot and I actually cried during the fireworks because I was so happy!


This last picture was taken at the PoleSoc Men's Competition last year and it shows four generations of PoleSoc presidents. In the last two years PoleSoc has become like a second family to me and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of this amazing society which has grown so much over the recent years.

I actually couldn't think of anything that I'd done to make someone happy recently so I messaged my best friend asking her if she could think of anything, to which she replied "You let me eat half your Doritos last night and said it was okay because you love me"- apparently I spread happiness through Doritos!

Lastly I just had to mention Jordan again because she's not only a fantastic blogger and the person who came up with this campaign but she's also a really good friend of mine and makes me laugh a lot, so here's a picture of us on the way to a wedding that we performed at! Make sure you follow her blog and if you like the idea, make a post like this yourself and help spread the happiness!




 
 

Juicytox 4 Day Juice Cleanse Review



Hi, my name is Allie and I'm a binge eater. For the past few months I've been everything but healthy so when Juicytox asked me if I wanted to try out their four day juice cleanse I jumped on the opportunity. I have tried doing a juice detox before by making my own juices but failed miserably, but Juicytox deliver the juices to your doorstep so I thought why not try again!
Right now you may be asking yourself "Why on earth would you give up solid food for four days to drink JUICE?". Most people I told about this assumed that I was doing it as some sort of fad diet, which I can assure you I wasn't. Yes, you do lose a little weight doing it but you're actually still getting lots of calories from the juices, they're just good calories packed with nutrients and vitamins and all the good stuff that our bodies would like to get more of. I did the cleanse to get me into a healthier lifestyle again, help my body recover from the excessive amounts of chocolate and fatty foods that I have made it consume, and reduce my cravings for bad food.

So how does it work?
With the Juicytox cleanse you get four juices a day, as well as a ginger shot in the morning (which wakes you up better than coffee ever will, and this is coming from a coffee addict) and a cup of organic mint tea to drink about an hour before bed. You also drink at least two litres of lemon water a day (and they supply you with lemons, which I personally thought was adorable). What stood out most to me was the service that comes with the product. Rob contacted me every evening asking how I was getting on and motivated me to keep going. He also hand delivered the juices to my door with a high five, which I desperately needed at that point.

So how did I get on?

Day 1
I'm not going to lie, day 1 was hard. I was super motivated in the morning and had my little ginger shot, which by the way is amazing, and started my day. I was fine up until about 1pm, the juices are delicious and really do fill you up, but I just started craving food. I wasn't hungry, I just wanted to eat. The fact that my house smelled of pizza definitely did not help, so I was a little cranky. However I stuck to it, even missed my society's meal out (I don't think I would have lasted long in Donatello's) and even went to a party and didn't drink. I was quite proud of myself. At the end of the day I was really tired so I had my mint tea and went to bed quite early.

Day 2
I had fewer cravings than I did on the first day but I felt extremely exhausted and just about got the energy to get up and go to my seminar. I didn't get much work done during the day and I was quite cranky but I didn't get a headache, which I was quite happy about.

Day 3
I was warned that day 3 would be the worst but it actually wasn't- I think my body was getting used to not having solid food so I wasn't as cranky and craving food as much, although I was still extremely tired and found it quite hard to concentrate. However I did see results by this point, I was a lot less bloated and my clothes were fitting better. I only weigh myself about three times a year because I don't think that your weight is an accurate representation of what your body looks like (I don't even own scales for that reason), so I can't tell you if I lost any weight but I was definitely feeling and looking skinnier!

Day 4
I want to say that I spent this day planning healthy meals for the week ahead but what got me through this day was the thought of making a cheese and bratwurst soup the next day... Four days of juice can't completely change me. However I was definitely feeling a lot better and I could even see my abs again, which was quite exciting. I wasn't as tired anymore and I felt extremely accomplished when I went to bed in the evening.


After the cleanse, I was less inclined to eat fatty, processed foods, and my cravings for chocolate had gone away completely! My clothes were also a little looser and my stomach had gotten a lot flatter (hi abs, long time no see!), so I'm very happy with the results. The juices were all really nice, my favourite being the red juice with beetroot in it, and really filled me up. I think that this was definitely more of a mental challenge rather than a physical one, and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you're trying to kickstart a healthier lifestyle!
The cleanse costs £59.99 for four days, which is by far the cheapest one I have seen, and the quality of the juices is great!

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse?

The Wish List- All Black Everything


I got a job! What does this mean? It means that I need new clothes of course. I have to wear all black to work and since I clearly don't own enough black clothing (cue hysteric laughter from everyone who knows me), I immediately headed over to good old Asos to find myself some black shoes and tops. If you've watched my boots collection (it's here if you haven't), then you may be thinking "Hey Allie, all your shoes are black... what are you on about?" and you are right! However none of my shoes are really work appropriate because they're either too clunky or they have a heel. Now my shoes don't need to be super formal but they do need to look semi professional, plus I need to be able to stand in them all day without wanting to die, so I feel like I need a new pair.
The ones that stood out to be were the Asos All A Dream Monk Ankle Boots (£40) because they're quite simple but they still have the buckle detail which makes them very much my style. I also loved the Asos Royal Leather Chelsea Ankle Boots (on sale for £37.50), which are a little more simple and formal and have a tiny bit of a heel.
While I was looking for shoes I obviously browsed the sale and found this really pretty Vero Moda Long Sleeved T-Shirt (on sale for £12), which would be a great simple, comfortable piece for work and just every day wear. I feel like a big Asos order may have to be made...

Which pair of boots do you prefer?

The tutorial that wasn't meant to be


Halloween is probably my favourite time of year, so I've been filming a few tutorials for fun looks recently. I love just having an idea and then coming up with something spontaneously, which is what I did with this look and I loved how it came out!
I wanted this to be a dark fairy look and make it quite scary with the veins but obviously still whimsical. Unfortunately when I started editing this it turned out that my camera stopped filming half way through so I ended up with half a tutorial... However I still wanted to share it with you guys so here's my dark fairy look, maybe it will inspire you in some way...
 
What are you going as this Halloween?

The Halloween Make-Up Kit Essentials




Halloween is just around the corner and I'm not going to lie, it's definitely one of the highlights of my year! I normally plan my costume up to a year in advance and I get really into it. I'm a firm believer in dressing up as something scary or dead for halloween- I think that cute Barbie costumes are meant for carnival, not halloween (unless it's a zombie barbie in which case go ahead and please send me photos!). This year I have two parties to go to, which means double the fun and two costumes for me! I will be uploading a few Halloween tutorials on my YouTube channel but today I thought I'd share some of my Halloween make-up kit essentials with you.

The base
If you're trying to look dead, chances are you want to look paler than you are. I'm personally not a big fan of white face paint because it doesn't look as natural, and I want to look naturally dead (does that make sense? I don't even know). I just go for the lightest colour foundation I own but if you're really pale you can always mix your foundation with a bit of white face paint if you want to look even paler.

The bruise colours
I love faking bruising because it's simple yet effective, and all you need is a few matte eyeshadows. I like to use a dark purple (I have a MAC Paint Pot in the perfect colour but an eyeshadow will work just fine), a yellow and a green. You can obviously invest in a proper bruise wheel like the Ben Nye one, which is dreamy by the way, but I find that eyeshadows work just as well as long as you make sure they're matte, because unless you're Edward Cullen, chances are you don't have sparkly bruises.

The contour
I've found that using your normal contour colour on a pale face just doesn't work as well, because even ashy contour colours tend to be too warm toned. Instead, I like to use a matte grey eyeshadow for contouring because it can give the illusion of sunken in cheek bones without warming up your complexion.

The blood colours
If you're trying to create a realistic looking wound, you want more than one shade. I've found that using a combination of black, a dark red/plum and a true red achieve the best results. You can achieve realistic looking scratches with just a black eyeliner, a dark red lipstick and a red lipliner! The more colours you use the more depth your wound will have and the more realistic it looks.

SFX supplies
If you really want to go all out and create some proper wounds then you're going to need a few special supplies. You can create lots of realistic looking wounds with liquid latex and tissues (there's lots of tutorials for this on YouTube and I will be uploading some soon!). I bought my liquid latex from a fancy dress shop and it actually wasn't expensive at all but it really takes your costume to the next level! There's also lots of other supplies like scar wax, etc. but I have never used them before. I think that lots of things can easily be achieved with just things you have in your collection already but obviously if you want to go all out you can invest in proper SFX make-up and props.

The blood
The most important part of any Halloween costume! I like to make my own blood because it's cheap and edible- I just mix some syrup with red and blue food colouring (the blue makes it look more realistic) and tadaa- you have your own home made blood! You can control the thickness of it by adding water and I like to make a few different batches of different thicknesses, so for example a really thick one for putting into fake wounds and a more liquidy one for blood splatter.


What are you going as this halloween?

Edgy Glamour


This weekend I went to Kent to go to a birthday party with Jordan! It was her friend's birthday and she took me along- the theme was Hollywood Glamour so it took me a while to figure out what to wear because let's face it, glamour is not my strength. I wanted to stay true to my style because I didn't want to feel uncomfortable (although my feet felt very uncomfortable in this outfit anyway), so I decided to go for a simple LBD with shoulder pads from AX Paris and dress it up with my most expensive and never worn shoes- my Sam Edelman Lorissa Pumps, which are currently 50% off on the Outnet by the way... you're welcome. They are the most beautiful shoes I own but man they killed my feet, I am definitely not used to wearing heels anymore! For my bag I used my Zara chain bag and just held it as a clutch and I think the chain on the bag went really well with the spikes on the shoes!


I had a fantastic time with Jordan and I felt really glamorous in this outfit, while still feeling like myself.

What is your go-to glamorous outfit?

Spending my Birchbox points


I love a good reward scheme and I think Birchbox is definitely up there when it comes to their points system. You get 12 points per box and 5 points per survey you complete. 100 points give you £10 and you can actually accumulate points really quickly if you fill out all the surveys, which in turn makes Birchbox better because you're giving them feedback so it's a win-win situation!

Things I want to achieve this October


I actually cannot believe it's October already- time has flown by in the past few months and I feel like I sometimes get a little bit lost, so I've decided to write down some things I want to achieve each month.

  1. Come up with a budget and actually stick to it
  2. Start blogging again
  3. Decide what to do for my imperial project and complete my ethics form
  4. Sort through and organise my wardrobe
  5. Finish decorating my room and film a room tour
  6. Spend more time reading rather than watching TV shows


What is on your to do list this month?


A Whole New World




Every girl wants to feel like a princess sometimes and yesterday, I got to dress up as one! For our first show choir social of the year the theme was animated characters and I immediately thought of Princess Jasmine because she's a slightly more unusual Disney princess and not the first one that comes to mind normally.
My outfit consisted of some trousers that I got in India, which were incredibly comfortable, a t-shirt from Primark, which I cut to the right shape, and obviously big gold jewellery and some hair extensions. I personally think that the hair extensions were what made the look, since for me, Jasmine's 'identifier' is her long, thick, bubble pony tail hair.
I got so many compliments on this costume and it cost me less than £20 to make, which just goes to show that with a little bit of creativity, you don't have to spend much money on your fancy dress!
I certainly enjoyed being a princess for a night, although I had to take the bus home rather than a magic carpet, but details.

A massive thank you to Jordan for taking these pictures! Make sure you check out her blog, she went as a Disney princess too!

Docs on tour- Whistler


After a few days in Vancouver, my family and I headed to the mountains to Whistler. Whistler is quite famous for skiing in the winter and mountainbiking in the summer, and there was definitely no shortage of mountain bikers! We stayed at the Nita Lake Lodge just outside of Whistler, which was absolutely beautiful and made the most delicious gluten free kale infused pancakes (you will have seen a picture of these if you follow me on my social media).
We only had one full day in Whistler so we went up on the mountain and did some hiking, which was lovely. We got some great views and I especially loved the little lake we went to. Unfortunately on one of the hiking trails we had to walk on rocks right next to a cliff so I was concentrating on the floor and didn't notice the massive rock in front of my face, which I proceeded to walk into with full force. For the rest of the day I had quite a headache!
We of course went on the Peak2Peak gondola, which holds all sorts of world records. It has the largest free span between towers (1.88 miles!!) and it's highest point above the ground is 1,430 feet, or 436 metres. I am very afraid of heights and normally definitely do not like this kind of thing but it was definitely an experience and the view was spectacular!



Pre concussion glee









I've moved!


Today I finally moved into my new house! When I say moved in, I mean that I came back from Germany with one suitcase and I'm currently sitting on my bed without any sheets and with a borrowed single duvet because all my things are in storage.
I just wanted to give you a first look at my awesome new room as well as apologize in advance because I've just come back from Canada and now I'm going to be busy moving in properly so I may not be posting as much in the next week or so! However, Jordan is helping me move some of my stuff in tomorrow so obviously that will be vlogged and there will be a room tour once I'm all done!
I'm really happy with my new room, if you've been watching my videos you'll know that my old room was big but had a very low slanted ceiling and it was also very dark. The new room has two big windows to the street, it's really lovely and big (lots of space for my pole!) and I'm also living with some of my best friends and right next door to more friends so I am very happy!
Obviously right now the room looks very bland but I have lots of ideas for making it more homely already and I can't wait to get decorating. If you're looking for room decor inspiration, make sure to check out my room decor board on pinterest!

Docs on tour- Canada Holiday!


I have just come back from my holiday in Canada so I wanted to share some pictures and details about the trip with you! I was there for just over two weeks so there's a lot of pictures, therefore I will be splitting them up into several post- this one is about my time in Vancouver!
The reason we went on this trip is that two years ago, my sister went on an exchange to West Vancouver for five months, so we wanted to go and see where she lived. We had a lovely two days staying at the Fairmont Waterfront (there's about a million different Fairmonts in Vancouver!) and exploring the city. Shopping obviously happened too and a haul will be on my YouTube channel soon... We also got to meet my sister's host family which was lovely!
Vancouver is a beautiful city and I'm actually thinking of applying to university there for my masters. Things I definitely recommend are walking through Gastown and renting bikes and cycling through Stanley Park!








Moving house- packing tips

I currently live in a student house, and unfortunately my tenancy is up soon and I have to move out. The tenancies for my current and new house don't overlap so everything has to go into storage, which is a bit of a pain, but I thought it would be good to share some things with you that I've learned from having to pack up my room completely several times!

Start with a tidy room
As tempting as it is to just start packing when your room is a mess, it's so much easier to pack up a tidy and organised room. I'm quite a messy person and last year I tried to pack up a messy room and let me tell you, it's a nightmare. You end up forgetting things and finding random items that should have gone into other boxes, so make sure you tidy before you start packing.

Do I really need it?
With every item you pack, ask yourself if you really need it. I find that I accumulate a lot of stuff over a year of living somewhere and there's no better time to throw it out than while packing, because it will save you so much space! Streamline your wardrobe, your makeup collection, etc. and go through paperwork and other things that may have accumulated over the years.

Vacuum bags are your best friend
I honestly don't know what I would do without vacuum bags. I have a lot of clothes so I would need quite a few bags to pack them up and vacuum bags are such an amazing space saver! I would recommend you spend a little more on these, as I got some really cheap ones last year and they just broke very quickly and the air got back in, which made them pretty much useless! These are also great for bulky things like duvets and can just save so much space in the car/your storage unit!

Give yourself enough time
This was my downfall this time- I completely underestimated the amount of work I had left to do which ended up with me leaving half of my stuff behind and having an anxiety attack on the bus to the airport- no fun! Make sure you finish packing at least two days before you have to move out to save yourself a lot of trouble and worrying! There's always more to do than you think.


My Evening Skincare Routine- Video



I finally filmed my evening skincare routine! I hope you enjoy this video and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, there's lots of awesome videos coming soon.


The Fairytale Tag


I think I was tagged in this by Jordan absolutely ages ago and it's been sitting in my drafts forever, but I'm finally getting around to posting this. I didn't really grow up with Disney so I didn't know quite a few of these films, which is quite shameful really, but it was fun to do anyway!

Snow White- Do you consider yourself beautiful?
At the risk of sounding full of myself, yes I do. Of course I have days when I look in the mirror and feel disgusting, but I've learned to accept and love the way I look. I'm stuck in this body so I may as well learn to love it, right?

Sleeping Beauty- How many hours do you sleep at night?
I'm a fantastic sleeper, I can sleep for 15 hours if you let me! Normally I get around 9 hours of sleep though, which is a lot for most people but just about right for me.

Cinderella- Do you have a curfew?
I do not- thank god. Gone are the days when I was at boarding school and gates closed at 10pm so if you weren't in by then, you were in big trouble. Now I live in a student house with friends and I can come and go as I please.

Rapunzel- Do you love being outside?
It really depends! In the summer I love to go to the beach and lie in the sun, but I very much dislike insects so some outside situations are not my thing.

Red Riding Hood- Do you trust strangers easily?
I'm a very outgoing person and I'll happily chat to strangers and tell them my life story but I do think that there's always a healthy dose of caution involved and I wouldn't just get in the car with a random stranger or invite them back to my house.

Beauty and the Beast- What makes someone beautiful in your eyes?
Humour and confidence. If someone can make me laugh and most importantly if they can laugh about themselves then that makes them beautiful in my eyes.

The Little Mermaid- What would you sacrifice for love?
I'm a hopeless romantic so a few years ago I promised myself to never drastically alter my course in life for a guy, which so far has proven to be a very good rule since all my relationships have ended quite badly and I would have been miserable if I had changed my course in life for them. But apart from things like moving to somewhere I don't want to be and drastic decisions, I would do pretty much anything for someone I love.

The Frog Prince- What do you find disgusting?
I absolutely cannot deal with bullies and I think it's a horrible personality trait. Oh and bad eaters. I physically cannot be in a room with someone who makes disgusting loud noises when they eat, it's a massive pet peeve.

Jack and the Beanstalk- What plants do you have?
I have managed to kill a cactus before so I don't own any plants, but I do like to treat myself to some fresh flowers every once in a while.

Puss in Boots- Do you have pets? If not, do you want them?
I don't have any pets unfortunately but I do really want a kitten when I move into my own flat!

Pinocchio- What is your biggest wish?
'Find something you love and do it, find someone you love and hold on to them'. My biggest wish is to find a job I love and find someone I love and want to be with forever. Refer to the comment about being a hopeless romantic above.

Peter Pan- What is your mental age?
I think my mental age is actually somewhere around my real age, yes sometimes I'm incredibly immature and I do enjoy walking around the house singing Frozen songs, but I've had quite a few experiences in life that have required me to mature quite quickly.

The Princess and the Pea- Are you sensitive?
A stranger might think I'm not, but all my friends know that I'm incredibly sensitive, I cry a lot and get very upset about very small things.

The Brave Little Taylor- Do you consider yourself brave?
I don't think I'd consider myself brave. Some people do say I'm brave because I moved to a different country when I was 15 and went travelling through South East Asia by myself when I was 18, but I think those things show independence rather than bravery. I consider someone brave if they stand up for something they believe in even though it could harm them (not necessarily in a physical way).


Tips for growing out short hair

I'm going to start this post with a little hair history, just so you know where I'm coming from: I used to have long hair when I was little (it was almost down to my waist) but when I was 14 it started falling out for no apparent reason and as my hair is quite thick I decided to cut it to shoulder length to stop it from falling out (it didn't by the way). I absolutely hate having 'short' hair, I think it doesn't suit me at all, so for the past four years I've been trying to grow my hair long again and I learned a lot along the way, which I wanted to share today. I find that most of these 'how to grow your hair' posts are made by people who have and always have had beautiful long hair so they are more about maintaining than actually growing your hair, so here's a few tips I wanted to add.

1. Stop colouring your hair right now
One of the biggest mistakes I made was thinking that I could do fun stuff like bleaching my hair while growing it. Well guess what, your hair will break. If you have long hair already that may be fine because it'll break as much as it will grow, but if you're trying to grow your hair then you're gonna end up just having to cut off as much as your hair has grown because it's too damaged and you won't get anywhere. Which leads me to my next point...

2. You really do need to cut your hair
I always hate going to the hairdresser because I see all that hair falling to the floor and think that my hair will never be long, but the truth is that by not cutting the dead ends off, you're just making things worse because they will go further and further up your hair and you will eventually have to cut them off. I usually go to the hairdresser every three months and between those visits I simply cut off the split ends myself (make sure you use proper hair scissors for this or you might make it worse!)

3. Invest in your hair
I do believe that if you want to grow your hair, you need to invest both time and money. As a rule of thumb I'd say save on shampoo and conditioner and invest in treatments such as hair oils and masks (I love the Wella Luxe Oil and Philip Kingsley elasticiser). Of course there's some great budget options, for example L'Oreal make some really good affordable hair oils and masks, but I think that with treatments you do get what you pay for most of the time. You also need to invest some time to do a hair mask at least once a week, cut your split ends every once in a while, etc. I like to do a hair mask every other wash (I wash my hair about twice a week) and then do an intensive oil mask which I leave on overnight every two to three weeks.

4. Don't use heat
This is along the same lines as colouring your hair. No matter if you use heat protectant or not, heat is never going to be good for the condition of your hair so only use it when you really need to. I used to blow dry my hair and straighten it about once a week, now I only blow dry it when I really need to (i.e. when it's freezing outside) and I only straighten or curl it for special occasions, so most of the time that's once a month at the most! Put away the hot tools, your hair will thank you for it.

5. Be patient
I know this is the last thing you want to hear, but unfortunately growing your hair takes a long time for most people. In the last six years I've only managed to grow mine about 10cm, although in that timeframe I bleached it twice, regularly used hot tools on it and didn't take much care of it. Now that I take good care of my hair it has not only gotten longer but the overall condition of it has become so much better and the new hair that's growing is being treated well from the start!

I know this post wasn't exactly revolutionary but I hope that it still helped you if you're trying to grow your hair. And if you have any secret tips please do share them in the comments!

My Gap Year Experience


Since results day was last week and lots of people are now planning what they are going to do this year, I thought I would share my gap year experience with you all, to maybe give you some ideas if you're taking a gap year. This post is a collaboration with the lovely Jordan from Hello Miss Jordan, because we both took gap years for very different reasons and did different things, so we thought this may be useful for some of you!
So my gap year story- I came to the UK when I was 15 and skipped year 11 so when I finished my A-Levels I had just turned 17. This means that if I'd gone to university straight away, I would have still been 17 for eight months. This would have caused lots of problems since I wouldn't have been able to for example sign a tenancy agreement for a house or anything, so I chose to apply for deferred entry and take a gap year.
For my gap year I moved back to Germany to live with my parents and tried to find a job, which proved to be much more difficult than I thought because it turns out that people don't really want to hire a 17 year old girl with no experience! So I ended up not doing much apart from the odd bit of work experience (which by the way showed me that I did not want to become a photographer, so I guess that was useful!). I did take up cheerleading though, which I really enjoyed and where I met some lovely girls who I became really good friends with.


During my gap year I was in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend who was at university in England, which was really hard because we wouldn't see each other for months and I had very little to distract me from the fact that I missed him a lot. We broke up suddenly just after I turned 18, so that is where the Eat, Pray, Love part of this story begins...
I'd always wanted to travel at the end of my gap year, once I had turned 18. Initially I wanted to do a full around the world tour but I quickly realised that I had neither the funds nor the time to do it properly, so I settled for two weeks of travelling in Thailand and a month of volunteering in India. I didn't have much of a plan for these things, I did the volunteering in India with an organisation so those four weeks were all organised for me, but I didn't decide when I was going to fly back and I also didn't have any plans for Thailand.
I arrived in Thailand having booked a hostel in Bangkok for the first two nights, with no plans other than 'I have to be back here in three weeks for my flight to India', and that was probably one of the best things I've ever done! I met so many incredible people and it was amazing just being able to spontaneously decide where to go and what to do. I ended up not travelling around too much because I really enjoyed where I was in Phuket, but I had an amazing time. I started in Bangkok, flew to Phuket, then took a bus to Koh Samui where I stayed for one night and realised I hated it, so I moved on to Koh Phangang and then eventually got a train back to Bangkok. I think my time in Thailand really helped me grow as a person, as cheesy as it sounds, because I was forced to just meet people wherever I went and make friends with strangers and I became so much more confident and independent in those two weeks.




After Thailand I moved on to India, where I had an induction week in Bangalore to meet the other volunteers and learned a bit more about the projects, as well as doing some sight seeing and going on a two day trip to Mysore. After the induction week we all went to our separate projects, so all the young people I'd made friends with went off to a little village called Kundapur and I went to Mysore so live in a host family together with another German woman who I did not get on with at all. The next three weeks were really difficult for me. My host family was amazing and I was really glad I was with them because they made such an effort to make me feel at home. I think my host mother was really happy to have me because she had two sons, so she loved teaching me how to cook Indian dishes, helping me to put on my sari in the morning etc., things she obviously couldn't do with her sons. My volunteer work was teaching at a school, which was really difficult since no one there spoke English and I wasn't seen as an authority figure, so I really struggled. There were some amazing moments, like when I taught a class to sing 'Yellow Submarine', but there were also a lot of moments when I just wanted to go home. Especially having just gone through a terrible breakup, I felt really alone a lot of the time and counted down the days until I could leave. After my volunteering was over, I chose to spend another week in India to meet up with the other volunteers again. We met up in Hampi, which was honestly one of the most amazing weekends of my life, and then went back to Kundapur for a week, where they continued their volunteering while I just relaxed and met up with them in the evenings (and sometimes in the morning for yoga at the temple!). The next weekend we went to Goa, which was also incredibly fun, where we then said goodbye as they went back to Kundapur and I flew home.




This post ended up being quite an essay, I apologize for that! In short, I had an amazing experience and although I was very homesick at times, I think it really helped me become more independent and sure of myself. I definitely recommend travelling (although I wouldn't recommend travelling through India by yourself), because you meet so many people along the way who influence you, even though you will probably never see them again. Having just gone through a breakup I did struggle with feeling alone and being sad at times, and I'm not going to lie: I didn't miraculously get over him and I didn't meet the love of my life while I was away. But I did become a more outgoing and confident person in the space of just two months and if I had the opportunity I would definitely do it again!

I hope this post was helpful in some way if you're thinking of taking a gap year. If you want any more information about the things I did or you have any questions please don't hesitate to post in the comments or send me an email at alliec713@gmail.com, I would love to help you out! Also make sure you read Jordan's post about her gap year because her story is like something you'd read in a romance novel.

Looking for Alaska


I really seem to be on it with the book reviews right now. I don't normally read much anymore but as I'm on holiday I've had much more time to do it. 
I started reading Looking for Alaska about three years ago but never finished it because I left it at a friend's house and to be honest I was really quite upset and angered by it so I didn't particularly want to finish it. 
Now I finally got around to reading it again and although it still angered me a little bit (if you read it, you'll know why and if you don't then what are you waiting for), the ending totally made up for it. I normally hate the endings of books because the world of the book becomes my world and I'm upset when it ends, especially because it rarely ends like I want it to (Divergent is a prime example of this), but Looking for Alaska ends in a way that is completely satisfying and made me happy in a weird way. The whole book really makes you think even when you finished reading it, which I think is the sign of a good book. 
I absolutely love Looking for Alaska and it has just earned its spot as my second favourite John Green book (with An Abundance of Katherine's being number one) and I thoroughly recommend you read it!

One Mascara To Rule Them All





I've been on the hunt for the perfect mascara for a long time. I want my mascara to be lengthening, separating and hold a curl because I have very straight lashes, and a few weeks ago I stumbled across this gem in the Boots clearance where I picked it up for only £1.90 and it was love from the first application- let me introduce you to the L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof mascara.
This mascara really is all I was looking for. It lengthens, it doesn't clump my lashes together (a massive pet peeve of mine) and it holds my curl all day! The picture above is after about six hours of wear, which is just incredible for me! It is a waterproof formula so it's a little harder to get off, but nothing a good cleansing oil can't manage! And it really is waterproof, which I tested in the shower (for research purposes of course, not because I forgot to take it off)- the curl drops a little but the mascara doesn't smudge or anything, so it's perfect for summer!
So if you like long, curled and separated lashes then I definitely recommend picking up this mascara- you won't regret it!